Posts Tagged ‘Individualism’

Taken from the forward of Pierre Ch. Marcel’s book The Biblical Doctrine of Infant Baptism:

Some years ago it was my privilege to pastor an elderly couple who had served in the Middle East as missionaries in the early part of the 20th century. The husband was a native of Iraq and an expert in Semitic languages and culture. On numerous occasions we had fascinating discussions about the differences between the cultural situation presented in both the Old and New Testaments as it compared or contrasted with the cultural situation of modern America. Many aspects of “the American experience” as it influenced church life mystified him completely. At the top of the list was what he regarded as “the inconceivable idea” that children of Christian parents should not be regarded as part of the Church. In his biblically informed Middle Eastern mind the household was the basic unit of the Old Covenant people of God and of the church in its New Covenant form. He was utterly baffled by the very idea that children born in a Christian family would not be baptized and marked out as part of the Church.

This epitomizes the challenge of presenting the historic Christian position on household baptism (a far more biblical phrase than “infant baptism”) into our American evangelical climate. Conditioned by the spirit of independence that was instrumental in founding our nation, formed by the frontier revivalism that dramatically supplanted church and sacraments with ad hoc evangelistic meetings and personal “decisions for Christ”, and nurtured in an environment that now virtually absolutizes one’s personal “right to choose”, American religion is far more comfortable with baptistic individualism than it is with the corporate emphasis on covenant theology and its accompanying view of baptism. Those who hold to the uniform reformational view of household baptism face a powerful resistance in America’s baptist culture. — Pastor William Shishko, (OPC), p. 3.


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